Discover your career path

Music Therapist

Help patients through singing, playing, or listening to songs.

What does a Music Therapist do?

Do you make playlists to match every mood, pound away at your drums to beat stress, and write songs to express your love? Music has been good to you: why not turn your passion into a career that helps other people? You can become a music therapist at a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, mental health agency, or other health-related organization.

As a music therapist, your job is to help relieve stress, promote wellbeing, and let people express themselves through activities such as singing, listening, dancing, and making music. As a music therapist, you might work with people of a certain age group (youth or seniors), people with physical or mental disabilities, or people going through a life transition such as drug rehabilitation, physical therapy, or a correctional sentence.

When used in conjunction with other types of therapy, research has shown that music therapy aids in the recovery of stroke survivors. But if you’re a musician, you don’t have to read the studies to know the profound effects that music can have on people. In many cases, simply giving patients an alternative outlet to express their feelings can make a huge difference in their lives.

In addition to a love of music, this career requires a genuine love of people. You need patience, compassion, flexibility, and good communication skills to work with the people receiving therapy as well as the other health professionals on your team. If you show enough care, you actually can witness the transformational power of music.